Purity Vegetarian Restaurant on Cambie and Sexsmith, Richmond

Updated: 28th Sep 2010; this restaurant is closed.

We noticed this location being renovated into a vegetarian restaurant which was formerly Ellie Tropical Cuisine for a while. When we dined at the New Asia Deli in October, we could not help it but stop at the Purity Vegetarian Restaurant to look at the menu pasted on the shop front.  While we were studying the menu, one of the server came out to greet us. She was very friendly and invited us to come back to try their food knowing that we just had lunch.


What captured my attention was the their dessert menu which has cheesecake, tiramisu, etc. I decided to check out their desserts with Polly for our cake meet.


The interior is clean and neat. The wall still has the huge paintings formerly found in the Ellie Tropical Cuisine.


Polly and I were quite disappointed when told that they do not have the cheesecake on that day. We went around the strip mall to try to find another dessert place to eat but were not able to find anything suitable. We returned to the Purity Vegetarian Restaurant to try out some of their snack items. The first item we ordered was the Crispy Veggie Oyster which costs $5.95. This crispy fried croquette is quite tasty. It is served with some pickled daikon and shredded cucumber and carrots.


This Baked Mushroom Escargots with cheese does not look appetizing due to the colour but (more…)

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Indian Cuisine: Lentil Soup (Khatti Daal)

I had just blogged about an Arabic Lentil Soup recently.  Here is another version of Lentil Soup. Minoo made an Indian version of Lentil Soup at the Caring Place Community Kitchen. Lentil is comfort food in India and it is a daily diet as a lot of the population are vegetarian. Lentil is rich in fiber and protein. Indian Lentil Soup differs from others not only on the use of spices but the way the spices are added to the Lentil Soup. The sizzling action of adding the fried spices at the end of the cooking process makes the difference.



  • 1 cup masoor (a brown skin lentil which are red inside)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 5 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying spices
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 to 3 whole red chilies


Vania also did some research of the health benefits of some Indian spices.  Vania, thank you for sharing.

Cumin Seeds:

  • good for digestive disorder like diarrhea, nausea and morning sickness as cumin seeds help digestion
  • rich in iron and help absorb nutrient into our body
  • detox body by helping our liver
  • reduce risk of cancer
  • boost our immune system


  • If used with cauliflower, it prevents prostate cancer
  • helps liver detox
  • prevent or slow down Alzheimer disease
  • is a natural anti-inflammatory drug
  • is a natural pain killer
  • helps loose weight
  • used to prevent depression
  • helps treat skin conditions


  • lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
  • helps regulate sugar for diabetics
  • reduces cancer cell production
  • relieves pain from arthritis if combine with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of honey
  • improves memory
  • is a good source of manganese, fibre, iron and calcium

Star Anise:

  • prevents flu
  • cures stomach ache due to excessive gas
  • prevents headache


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Roasted Parsnips

Christina and June roasted some parsnips for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.  Roasting parsnips really brings out the vegetable’s sweet flavour.  This recipe can be multiplied endlessly – just count on about one medium parsnip per person.


Roasted Parsnips have a strong aroma to it.  Not everyone will like it.  Paul just tried one and said no thank you.  This is the first time Paul tried parsnip.  This recipe is for 1 serving.


  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt


Parsnip is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips look like carrots, but are  white (or pale yellow) instead of orange in colour.  It has a stronger flavor.


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Mashed Cauliflower

>The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors served Mashed Cauliflower as the side dish for the Turkey Meatloaf instead of the regular mashed potatoes.  Mashed Cauliflower is popular among dieters, who crave for mashed potatoes but with lesser carbohydrates.


The Mashed Cauliflower is delicious, diet or no. It has the texture of mashed potatoes and the taste of cauliflower. Being Chinese, we seldom have mashed up food except food for baby.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 to 7 cups)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water or broth
  • sea salt to taste


This recipe is adapted from Whole Foods Market and it serves 4.  Helmut and Lorna made this very simple side dish.


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Kale Chips

I had heard of Kale Chips from Arzeena’s facebook posting but had never try it before.  Apparently, it is very easy to make.  This is a very healthy snack.  As a matter of fact, I would even call this a vegetarian chips because it is made of vegetables. I’m glad that Frank and Christina will be making Kale Chips in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.


The Kale Chips have the texture of potato chips and taste like Japanese dried seaweed.  It’s amazing what a quick roast in the oven can do to these greens!


  • 1 bunch of kale, try to get those with flatter leaves for a crispier texture
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste



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Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Grapes and Sage

The second recipe for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Grapes and Sage.  This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit and it serves 4 to 6.

This side dish is versatile in the sense that you can use it in different ways like as a topper for spinach salad or stuff it inside a whole wheat pita with a bit of blue cheese for an unusual and delicious snack.


This Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Grapes and Sage is easy to make fall recipe.

The grapes are a surprise to this recipe which I think you will like.

The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the squash.  Charlene shared some tips on how to prepare butternut squash in a later kitchen.  If you’re making soup, simply cut the squash in half, lengthwise and bake in a 400F degrees oven until the flesh is soft enough to scoop out, about 45 minutes.  If you need to peel the squash, submerge the squash in a big pot of boiling water for 2 minutes.  This will soften the skin, making it easier for removal using a vegetable peeler.


  • 1 x 2 1/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage leaves (or 1 tablespoon dry sage, crumbled)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts (optional)



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Quinoa Salad with Mango and Black Beans

The last salad item in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors salad cook off was Quinoa Salad with Mango and Black Bean.   You can use quinoa as a substitute for rice, or mix it with chopped vegetables, nuts, or dried fruit for a salad.  One thing to remember when using quinoa is to wash it thoroughly before cooking.  This is because each grain has a naturally bitter coating called “saponin” that needs to be rinsed off.

Jane (also a new member of the cooking club) and Karen prepared this salad which serves 6.


This yellow and red high protein grain is easy to cook and has a moist, fluffy texture.



  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 2 tablespoons rice, cider, or wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 5 cups cooked quinoa (see above)
  • 2 mangoes, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 can black beans



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Marinated Lentil Salad

This is first salad for the salad theme in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.  Sydney and Lorna made this salad besides the Island Pork Tenderloin.  Lentil is a high in fiber and a great meat substitute for a vegetarian dish.


Cooking the lentils for only 15 minutes preserves their shape and texture.  Tossed with a little vinaigrette, they make a tasty and satisfying salad.  This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and it serves 8.



  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/2 cup chopped parsnip or turnip
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley



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Bok Choy Salad

Among all the salad dishes made in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors, I like the Bok Choy Salad the most.  Perhaps, it has the Asian flavour in it.  Even Ben likes this salad.  He had this for his lunch several times already after I got this recipe.

Christina and Helmut made this salad together.  Helmut is also another new member of the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.


Eaten raw, bok choy is surprisingly tender.  This crunchy, sweet salad is high in calcium from the leafy greens, sesame seeds and almonds.  This is my first time eating bok choy raw.  I usually stir fry them with garlic and oyster sauce.


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (3-ounce) package instant ramen noodles
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 lbs bok choy
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice, cider or wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce



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Peanut Summer Rolls

June and Ronald made this refreshing Peanut Summer Rolls in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.  Ronald is new to the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.  June had to slow him down as he did his part like preparing the vegetables and sauce in a jiffy like an expert in the kitchen.


The Peanut Summer Rolls is a vegetarian dish.  It uses the translucent rice paper wrap as commonly found in Vietnamese cuisine.  It is very refreshing and fragrant with the use of herbs like cilantro, mint and basil.  Summer is the time to enjoy all the fresh vegetables and lettuces.

This recipe is adapted from Gourmet and it makes 4 rolls.


For Rolls:

  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2/3 cup coarsely shredded carrot (2 medium), raw
  • 4 (8-inch) rice paper rounds
  • 2 red-leaf lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Optional Veggies:

  • 1/2 cup shredded napa cabbage
  • 1/3 cup coarsely shredded zucchini (1 small), raw
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced button mushrooms, raw
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced into matchsticks

For Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste or ketchup



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